Women’s freedom essential to society

Dianne Nagy

Dianne Nagy

Consider these riddles:

– A man and his son were rock climbing when they slipped and fell. The man was killed, but the son lived and was rushed to the hospital. The old surgeon looked at the young man and declared, “I can’t operate on this boy: he is my son.” How could this be?

– An electrician and a plumber were waiting in line for admission to the ‘International Home Show.’ One of them was the father of the other one’s son. How is this possible?

The answers (the surgeon was the boy’s mother, and the plumber and electrician were husband and wife) play upon gender biases that permeate our society. Despite the advancement of political and civil rights for women in America and the widespread acceptance of parity in principle, full equality has not been achieved.

While the oppression of women may not be as visible as a veil in the United States, age-old patterns of subordination, reflected in popular culture, literature, art and even religious scriptures, continue to pervade American life. The persistent denial of equality to half of the country’s population promotes destructive attitudes and habits in men and women that pass from the family to the workplace, to political life and, ultimately, to the world at large.